Giving Compass' Take:
- Paul Shoemaker is the Founding President of Social Venture Partners International and Strategic Advisor to Giving Compass. He is the Northwest’s leading expert on activating social change agents and a global thought leader on how individuals can be the most effective philanthropists.
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Paul Shoemaker believes that we need more people committed to giving long-term to make social change happen. In his book, Can't Not Do, Paul shares stories of individuals who have distilled passion into potent purpose and made tremendous differences on the pressing social issues that plague our time.
Paul says that while researching his book, he "talked to many individuals who have made a huge difference, who would invariably say something like, it's not that I can do this work, it's that I can't not do it."
But how does one identify a particular cause when there are so many opportunities for giving?
Paul cautions that "folks are open to finding their 'can't not do' at different times in their life" and that there is no one size fits all when it comes to generosity.
"There are times and places in our life where we have a little more open space in our hearts and in our minds. There's a little bit of Maslow's hierarchy going on here, right? If you know you've got your basics met and maybe you feel good about some of the things you've accomplished in life, then maybe you're ready for what's next or what's more or what's the bigger purpose. And we're not always all ready for that. You need to listen to yourself…when does your heart feel open? When it does, keep your mind and your eyes open for that thing that just might grab you."
What's your "can't not do"?